Tag Archive for Sausage

Dutch food: Dutch Snacks

I’m not really into the whole football thing, but I do watch the world championship matches in which the Netherlands play, to stay up to date. To make it a bit more interesting, I decided to make a Dutch snack board, with all kind of classic Dutch snacks and appetizers. On a traditional Dutch birthday party you usually arrive in the afternoon, get pie and a cup of tea first, then coffee and a bonbon, and then snacks and drinks; you leave at the end of the afternoon/beginning of the evening. Sometimes coffee/chocolate isn’t served, and sometimes (especially when the party is in the evening) there is no pie served either. In some families it is habit that the guests stay for dinner.
The snacks below are the traditional ones you could expect on a (birthday) party, although nowadays people also serve other things, for example all kinds of things inspired on other cultures, like tapas. The amount and variety of snacks served depends on how much guests there will be and if it is an informal/small party or something big.

Dutch Snacks

From left to right, top to bottom: smoked beef-egg rolls, cucumber slices, ham-herbed cream cheese rolls, salami-cream cheese rolls, cheese, liver sausage, salami-gherkin rolls, cheese with pickled onion, grilled sausage with cheese, devilled eggs, ham-asparagus rolls.

On the board

Cubes/wedges of Dutch cheese
The world-famous Gouda cheese comes from the Netherlands. It comes in different ages, ranging from young (quite soft, creamy and mild) via matured to extra old (hard, crumbly, piquant). There are also many cheeses available that have an addition, for example cumin, clove, fenugreek or nettles; nowadays lots of cheesemakers also experiment with other flavours like pesto, herb/spice mixes and wasabi. I would suggest to serve a young mature (a cheese that everyone likes) and something special in addition. Unfortunately, the name Gouda isn’t protected, so abroad most Gouda doesn’t taste like it should. If you want to try real Dutch Gouda, look for ones that are called “Noord-Hollandse Gouda” (Noord-Holland is a province in the Netherlands), “Boerenkaas” (farmhouse cheese) and “Gouda-Holland”, these have a Protected Geographical Indication status, which means that they can only be made in the Netherlands and can only use milk produced by Dutch cows.

Garnished cubes of cheese
Use a cocktail stick to garnish cubes of cheese with pickled onion (on the board), gherkin, olives, confit ginger, pineapple, mandarin, peach or grape.

Slices of sausage
You cannot have a Dutch snack board without sausage. There are many kinds of sausages available in the Netherlands, for example “gekookte worst” (literally cooked sausage, similar to rookworst or Frankfurters, but always served cold), “leverworst” (literally liver sausage, abroad sometimes known as liverwurst; a finely ground sausage made with pork liver, meat, fat and spices; available firm (as on the board), or spreadable (often eaten as bread or cracker topping)), “metworst” and “droge worst” (literally dried sausage; spiced air-dried pork sausage, similar to salami, lots of regional varieties available), “grill worst” (grilled sausage, can be made with different kinds of meat, the outside is liberally spiced, can contain bits of cheese (like on the board) or sateh sauce) or “Zeeuws spek” (bacon from the Dutch province Zeeland, bacon marinated in a spice mixture and grilled).

Rolls
The thinly sliced cold meats that we generally use in the Netherlands as a bread topping are also great for making snacks. Salami can be filled with a tiny gherkin (or quarter larger gherkins lenghtways), or can be spread with herbed cream cheese and rolled. Ham can be filled with some cooked white asparagus, either from a jar or freshly cooked, or can be spread with herbed cream cheese and rolled. Rookvlees (literally smoked meat, salted smoked beef) can be filled with quartered cooked eggs. All these rolls can either be served with a cocktail stick pricked in them, or with a container of cocktail sticks on the side, so that people can prick the snacks they choose themselves. Without cocktail sticks these snacks are a bit unwieldy.

Vegetables
Commonly a few slices of cucumber. Sometimes more vegetables (think crudité) are given with one or more dips. There are dipping sauce mixes available in the supermarkets, or some people make their own simple yoghurt/mayo dip.

Devilled eggs
I make them by taking out the yolks from halved boiled eggs, mashing them with some mayonnaise to make a thick paste, season with salt and pepper and scoop this back in the egg whites. To make them a bit more posh you could add some chopped fresh herbs like parsley and chives, and pipe the filling instead of scooping it into the egg whites. Over here some more variations can be found.

Not on the board

These snacks are commonly served as well, but weren’t on my board, because it only was for a few people.

Savoury snacks
For example different flavours of potato chips, different kinds and flavours of nuts, salty biscuits, pretzels, cheese straws and cheese palmiers (we call them cheese butterflies).

Herring on rye bread
You can put both salted and pickled herring on rye bread. Some people add some raw onions on top, but not everyone likes this.

Small toasts/crackers with topping
There are lots of different crackers available in the supermarkets. The most well known are melba toast and water biscuit/saltine crackers. Toppings can be all kinds of things, for example cheeses (brie, camenbert, port salut, roquefort, etc), salads, pate, (smoked) fish or ossenworst (raw beef sausage). Sometimes these “toastjes” (literally small toasts) are pre-made by the host, but usually the toasts and toppings are placed on the table so people can help themselves.

Raw-ham melon rolls
I think this combination became more popular in the seventies or eighties, when foreign flavour combinations became more popular, and these ingredients became available as well. I like this one a lot, because it is lighter and fresher than most of the other snacks. Unfortunately, I could not find a nice, ripe melon, so I could not make this for my snack board.

A warm snack
Often there is a warm snack for the end of the afternoon. This can be a “bitterbal” or something else from the deep-fryer, small frankfurters with something to dip them in (usually mustard and/or curry sauce), or small meatballs (sometimes with sateh sauce).

Toad in the Hole

A British classic: sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding batter. The batter rises a lot, which gives lovely crispy edges, but the middle stays quite soft, fluffy and pancaky. Important to know: for the best results you need to make the batter a day in advance. You can make Yorkshire puddings with the same batter and via the same process (without the sausage), use a muffin tin if you don’t have a Yorkshire pudding tin. Yorkshire puddings are usually served as a side with roasts, and with an onion gravy.

ToadInTheHole2

Toad in the hole (serves 6)
Slightly adapted from James Martin – The Collection

225 g flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
5 medium eggs
600 ml milk

6 sausages
olive oil

25 g beef dripping or vegetable oil

Place the flour, salt, pepper and thyme in a bowl. Add all the eggs and whisk until smooth. Then stir in the milk. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 220C. Place a large Yorkshire pudding tin or a baking tin in the oven to warm.
Brown the sausages in a hot frying pan with a little oil. Take the batter from the fridge and stir gently.
Remove the hot tray from the oven, add the dripping and heat again until very hot.
Put the sausages in the middle of the tray and pour in the batter. Be careful, hot fat can make nasty burns! I like to do this with 2 persons, 1 steadies the tray on the baking rack (so that you don’t have to move the tray with the hot fat), the other places in the sausages and pours in the batter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until risen and golden brown. Don’t open the oven door while baking, otherwise your pudding will sink. Serve immediately.

Huevos Rancheros

Originally, huevos rancheros is a Mexican breakfast dish, consisting of a fried egg on top of corn tortilla’s with a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes accompanied by refried beans, slices of avocado, rice or guacamole. If you think about it, it is not dissimilar to shaksuka. I’m completely sure that no-one from Mexico would call my version huevos rancheros, but that doesn’t matter, because it is very delicious and it makes me think of Mexican food. Because of the chillies (from the sambal), the spices and the smokiness of the smoked paprika and chorizo, it is a very warming dish.
The corn tortillas in my supermarket had only trace amounts of corn in them, so I decided to make my own by mixing corn flour (not corn starch!!!) with pinch of salt and enough boiling water to form a dough, leave that to rest for a while and then form it in “tortillas”. The dough was very sticky, probably the reason why most corn tortilla recipes ask for the use of masa harina (a processed kind of corn flour) or some normal flour added, so it was quite difficult to form them in real, flat tortillas. But they still were very delicious!

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros (2 persons)

150 g chorizo, sliced or cubed
1 large onion, cubed
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
125 g mushrooms, quartered
1 red paprika, cubed
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp sambal (I used sambal badjak)
1 beef stock cube
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
pepper to taste
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 can of tomatoes/tomato cubes on juice (400 g)
2 eggs
salt
4 corn tortillas
100 g feta, crumbled
a few spring onions, sliced

Heat a large skillet. Add the chorizo and fry until crisp, stirring occasionally. Take out the bits of meat and leave the bright orange fat that came out in the pan. This has a lot of flavour, so I use it to fry the other ingredients in. Start by frying the onions on low heat until they are soft, then add garlic, mushrooms and paprika and fry on slightly higher heat until softened. Add all the spices and fry for another 1-2 minutes to bring the flavour out. Add the tomatoes and use your spatula to break up the whole tomatoes in pieces. Leave to bubble for 5-10 minutes, or until thickened. Meanwhile, fry the eggs and season with salt. Heat up the corn tortilla’s according to the package instructions. Place the chorizo, feta and spring onions in small bowls. Place everything on the table and let everyone build their own tortilla.

Vegetable bake

This dish was inspired on a recipe from James Martin. He describes it as a perfect dish to serve at dinner parties to be able to give a wide range of different vegetables, without having to use many dishes. I completely agree with that, but it also is a great dish when you are busy, because the actual hands on time is very little. Since it has only a little fat and lots of vegetables, it is also a healthy dish, but is still satisfying because of all the hearty, roasty flavours. So perfect to give a bit of balance after the Christmas and New Year’s feasts.

Mine had sausages, thyme, lemon, potato, fennel, butternut squash, onion, garlic and carrot. Without the sausages it is a perfect side dish for roasts, rosemary and honey are a great alternative for the thyme and lemon, and other vegetables like parsnip, celeriac, swede/turnip, sweet potato, but also courgette, aubergine, paprika and mushrooms work very well. Basically all vegetables that cook well in the oven without much fat or liquid work.

The recipe is so straightforward, that I don’t even need to write a real recipe. Just cut up all the vegetables you want to use (small potatoes can stay whole), throw them in a baking dish. Add your flavouring of choice (herbs, lemon, honey, etc), peel some garlic cloves, smash them with your knife and throw in the dish too. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle some olive oil over the vegetables and mix. The oil should be enough to coat all the vegetables, but not so much that it puddles in the bottom. Then place the sausages (if using) on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 220C for about 45 minutes, or until the sausages and vegetables are cooked.

Vegetable Bake

Paella with chorizo and chicken

Paella is a versatile dish, easy to prepare in many different variations. Especially on colder nights I love this warming and filling dish, it is real comfort food! I served it with some cucumber sticks for extra vegetables and to counterbalance the spice in the rice.

Because of the chorizo, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin this dish has a warm, deep and spicy flavour. The smoked paprika gives it a hint of smokiness, it is really worth looking for because it can enhance the flavour of not only this paella, but of many dishes. In Groningen you can get it at the herb stand on the market, but if you cannot find it anywhere use ordinary paprika instead… take care to use a nice one from a toko or something, because the stuff you get at the supermarket just tastes like bitter dust.

Paella with Chicken and Chorizo

Paella with chorizo and chicken (2 servings)

150 gram paella or risotto rice (I used arborio)
100 gram chorizo, diced (I used the already cooked variety, because cooking chorizo is not available around here)
2 chicken thighs
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red paprika (or yellow or orange), diced
olive oil
1 tin tomatoes
1 stock cube
2 bay leaves
2-3 tsp smoky paprika powder (depending on the strength/your preferences)
1/2 tsp cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper

Heat some olive oil in a heavy, big pan. Sauté the onion until soft and translucent, then add the chorizo, garlic and paprika. After frying a bit, add the rice, paprika powder, cumin and cayenne. This should be fried until the rice is coated with oil/chorizo fat and the spices are fragrant. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, stock cube and chicken, and cook in a lidded pan on low heat until the rice and chicken are cooked. Stir regularly and add some extra water when the mixture is looking too dry. When cooked, set the rice aside and take out the chicken. Heat some oil in a frying pan until quite hot, put the chicken in here skin side down (this will splatter!). Cook until it has a nice, crispy skin. Season the rice with salt, pepper and cayenne if necessary.
This dish can be made in advance, then leave the chicken in the rice and fry it only when serving, reheat the rice on low heat with a bit of extra water.

Paella

Paella is my comfort food. I expect that the paella how I make it is not like real paella, but then there are many varieties of paella, depending on the location. But I do know that my version is very jummy! It is also a very easy dish to scale up and make for many people.

Paella (2 persons)
Inspired on the Conran Cookbook

sausages*
chicken pieces*
Olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
150 gram risotto rice
1 red paprika, diced
1 can of tomatoes (diced or whole, 400 g)
1 glass of white wine (you can omit this)
1 stock cube
2 bay leaves
some saffron soaked in hot water (you can omit this)
pepper
sea fruit*

Brown the sausages and chicken pieces. Set aside on a plate.
Fry the onion and garlic gently in some olive oil. When translucent, add the rice. Fry for a bit longer, until the rice is translucent as well. Then add the paprika, fry again for a while. Then add everything else, also the sausages and chicken pieces that were set aside (except the sea fruit), stir well, put a lid on the pan and cook until the rice is tender. Stir often to prevent sticking. If the rice gets dry but it is not cooked yet, add some water. Add the sea fruit (cooked) a few minutes before finishing, so that it can warm trough

*Note: you can use any mixture of sausages, chicken pieces and sea fruit you want. Usually I use a package of “Catalaanse braadworst” from AH, and some sea fruit from the freezer. When I want to be decadent, I also add in some chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs) and prepare all my sea fruit myself. Again, you can use anything you want. I like squid, prawns and clams, so I use them. I cook the clams separately and add them together with the cooking liquid to the paella.

Easy diner (Pancake and sausage oven dish)

Yesterday was again one of those days that you only want to be over. Logically, I didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, so I came up with a plan. I wanted to have pancake with sausages, but of course baking enough pancakes for diner was to time consuming. So I just made at an oven dish. And it worked very well, I didn’t expect that! The only thing was that the sausage made the dish quite salty. I put an extra egg in the pancake batter to make it a bit more airy. I expect this dish to work well also with no pancake batter, but just egg.

Pancake and sausage oven dish (2 big servings)

200 gram sausage (like cervelaat or salami)
1 onion, diced
1/2 courgette, sliced
150 grams mushrooms, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
200 gram multi-grain pancake mix
2 eggs
milk
grated cheese

Sauté the onion till soft. Divide the sausage and all the vegetables in a large, shallow oven dish. Make the batter by stirring in the eggs into the pancake mix. Then add milk till you have quite a thick batter (not as thin as for normal pancakes/crepes). Season the batter with pepper, no salt because of the sausage. Pour it over the veggies. Top the dish with grated cheese and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes.